Obituaries : Albert Eugene Acton; Veteran Educator

Albert Eugene Acton, founding principal of Agoura and Calabasas high schools, died Thursday from injuries suffered in an automobile accident. He was 71.

Acton, who was born Sept. 21, 1924, in Baltimore, was a 30-year resident of Thousand Oaks.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in 1952 and a master’s degree in education from the University of Paris, informally known as the Sorbonne.

He had a 34-year career in education and was the founding principal of Agoura High School from 1965 to 1971. He was also principal of the International School in Bangkok, Thailand, for three years, returning to become founding principal of Calabasas High School.


“He was involved in hiring all the first staff at Agoura High, getting the parents involved, dealing with stadium lights and uniforms. It was a unique challenge, and he had endless stories about trying to get it going,” said his son, David Acton of Thousand Oaks.

After retiring from the Las Virgenes Unified School District in 1987, Acton dedicated his time to art, his family and the community. He expressed his artistic abilities through painting, photography, landscaping, gardening and cooking. He raised birds, and koi in the pond and waterfalls he put on his property.

“In his retirement, just like during his career, when he helped students, parents and teachers, he helped many people,” said David Acton. “He also loved cooking, and for anybody at any time there was always room at the table.”

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Helene; two brothers, Joe Acton of Olympia, Wash., and Robert Acton of Grosse Pointe, Mich.; his daughter, Danielle Acton of Salinas; two sons, Mark Acton of Ventura and David Acton of Thousand Oaks, and three grandchildren.

A memorial Mass will he held at 3 p.m. Wednesday at St. Paschal Baylon Catholic Church of Thousand Oaks.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Albert Acton Memorial Fund at the Las Virgenes Unified School District in Calabasas.

Arrangements are under the direction of Guardian Memorial Funeral Directors of Ventura County.